Daryl Dixon is the ruggedly-pretty-boy darling of The Walking Dead, but he hasn’t actually gotten a whole lot in the way of romantic or sexual attention in the show itself. According to Robert Kirkman, that’s intentional. Oh my Zombie-God, what does that mean? Is Daryl maybe not as hetero as the rest of the constantly-lady-mackin’ dudes on the show? Please say yes.
A recent fan letter published in The Walking Dead #130 floated the ides, noting that the comic’s gay character Paul “Jesus” Monroe fits the same badass mold that the show’s version of Daryl Dixon currently embodies. Other fans have speculated that, because Carol and Beth have been hitting on him left and right and nothing’s happened, Daryl might also be gay.
Okay, real talk for a second: as excited as we might be about the possibility of a popular character on TV being written as gay, the idea that a character must be gay because he hasn’t shown an interest in the women around him isn’t necessarily great. As most woman who’ve gotten caught by pickup artists at bars will tell you, being pronounced or assumed gay by somebody because you haven’t expressed a specific interest in a gender other than your own is profoundly annoying, even when it’s true. Also, sexuality is very complicated and exists on a lot of different spectrums. Daryl doesn’t necessarily have to be gay; he could be asexual, or very slow to act on possible attraction—or simply just uninterested in any sex during a zombie apocalypse, because that would be totally understandable.
But the idea that Daryl, a badass redneck biker with a crossbow and a leather jacket, could be revealed to be gay (or at the very least, not completely heterosexual)? That would be absolutely fantastic, because as a badass redneck biker, Daryl would defy a lot of the tired stereotypes of how gay men are supposed to act and behave on television. Considering Daryl’s upbringing in an environment that would never be thought of as “tolerant,” it would be so incredibly interesting from a character perspective as well.
And the idea is not without some merit, Robert Kirkman noted in an interview with Comicbook.com. In fact, it might even come to fruition:
When asked if the possibility of Daryl being gay had been considered, Kirkman answered, “All I can say is that it’s been discussed. We have very specific ideas about Daryl’s sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof), and if there’s ever a quiet period in the show where he’s not consistently distracted by crossbowing… we’ll tackle it in the show.”
When also asked if AMC would let the possibility of Daryl Dixon being gay fly, Kirkman responded, “For the record, they absolutely would.”
I don’t know about you, but “we have very specific ideas about Daryl’s sexuality” feels like a good omen. Of course, Kirkman and The Walking Dead writers might never get that quiet period, and possibly-gay-Daryl could go the way of definitely-gay-except-we-never-knew-about-it-Dumbledore in terms of canonical LGBTQ representation (meaning that it’s very thinly alluded to, but never outright expressed). It’s too soon to be optimistic one way or the other, probably, but with any luck, a positive groundswell of fan support might convince Kirkman to go forward with these ideas. What do you think?
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